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Source: Sinn Féin

5 November, 2020 – by Claire Kerrane TD

 Sinn Féin spokesperson on Rural Development Claire Kerrane TD has said that Covid-19 has accelerated remote working and has opened up a once in a lifetime opportunity for rural towns and villages. 
After having questioned the Minister on plans for the roll-out of Remote Working Hubs, Teachta Kerrane said: 
“I welcome the further detail provided by the Minister to my Question regarding plans for the roll-out of Remote Working Hubs. 
“The €5 million announced in the Budget will see 350 hubs rolled out in rural areas nationally. This is really welcome but needs to be progressed quickly. 
“A recent report from the Regional Assemblies of Ireland published last month identified 1 in 4 private sector workers could be targeted for remote working, with even greater numbers when it comes to public service workers. 
“In the North and West region alone, there are over 40,000 private sector workers identified. That would see 40,000 less commuters and 40,000 more people in their local communities and spending in their local economy.
“This would be transformative for rural towns and villages and so, we need to take full advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity. 
“I understand from the Minister that an Interdepartmental Group has been established to look at the Remote Working Hubs and have held their first meeting. They are due to report initially in early-mid 2021. 
“I’ve asked that the Group immediately look at where these hubs will be located and where possible, that they make use of already established premises that may be vacant and also that community centres be considered with the dual benefit of being a source of income for them.
“We know the difficulties that people in rural areas have faced during Covid when it comes to working from home and also, for children when schools were closed. 
“We need to get this basic infrastructure in place and progress quickly with the roll-out of Remote Working Hubs.”

MIL OSI United Kingdom